Just bought a yak, appears it is warped

I’d post a picture but I guess I don’t have the capability. It’s an old town vapor that I just got from academy for $300. It’s my first one. I just an on fishing with it and maybe taking it down the river at a leisurely pace. I live in columbia sc. Neither have three little rivers here that unusually fish the banks from.

I flipped it upside down and towards the front one side is puffed out a little more. I’d like to now have to take it back. I was planning on using it first thing in the morning.

Any advice. Is this a big concern? Can I fix it myself?

Any input would be appreciated.

Depends on How Bad?
With polyethylene boats, they all will warp eventually. If it’s warped significantly in a way in which the bow & stern (Front & Back) dig into the water (Reverse rocker), it will be tough to control. If it’s just a little deformation, well, that’s the nature of the beast with poly. I know, when you buy something new, you want perfection.

For a brief time I experimented with kayaks. I bought my first, a Dagger Delta. Got it home, and there was some warping where it was tied down. I left it in the sun and stuffed hay in it to try to un-do the warping to no avail. I paddled it a few years before going back to canoes and it was fine. I’m certain the warping affected the way it paddled little if any?

Not a big problem. Lay it out in the sun
for a while. If that doesn’t work, fill it with water on a flat surface. If that doesn’t work, use it the way it is and it will even out. Don’t try it heat it with a hair dryer.

I would take it back
If you can actually notice that one side is “puffed out” more than the other, it is a piece of crap and they should exchange it for another.

You’ll have to constantly do correction strokes

jack L

heat and plastic
I would paddle it and see if it tracks well.

But the problem likely is your heat and the boats being plastic. The plastic warms up, softens, and then any sort of pressure can cause it to deform. On racks is most common time - strapped down tight. Much of that deformation will come out when it is next exposed to heat, but not all.

Looking at your carry process (and assuming you are in a hot area like Florida), you likely will cause more issues over time. If you do transport it a lot, you would want something that cradles the boat more. Saddles, j-rack, or the like. You want to spread the load on the plastic so there is less deformation.

JackL is right
Exchange it while it is still early. I got burned on this with my first sea kayak. I thought it was “just me” because I was too new to know better.

Hope your dealer does the right thing by you. Good luck.

Take it back
You paid for a new boat. You should get a new boat, not a defect.

I concur
Take it back.

Probably can’t be fixed

– Last Updated: Apr-29-15 4:03 PM EST –

It is possible for some sterns to have kind of an optical illusion when viewed off center but if you run a tight string a over the keel it should be obvious there's a bend in the stern. Guessing there's too much plastic over too large an area to heat it all up and bend back but I've never tried it to know.

This is one of those things where you should have a visible assymetry to support your impression if you've used the boat and it's no longer absolutely brand new and you want a warranty replacement for a factory defect so as to eliminate the possibility it's not paddler skill.

Just reread your post, it's a visual aberration and not a paddling one. Ok, this is one of those things where it could be a flaw or simply what happens when any plastic kayak is crammed in a 50' truck on a hot day. Put it in the sun upside down and see what happens after a couple days. Call the store with your concerns, they might be more inclined to take it back and trade for another than let it get used and returned. FYI some big round plastic rec kayaks can have a range of warpage with no paddling consequences